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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

SALVATORE CALABRESE mixes cocktails for Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, David Schwimmer and Cat Deeley at his Fifty club, 'so I know what makes a party go with a fizz,' he says. Calabrese suggests making The Snowstorm - a mixture of 30ml vodka,15ml limoncello, 15ml white crme de cacao, 10ml orgeat (almond syrup) and 30ml double cream. Or try his Champagne cocktail, a blend of 20ml Cognac, two dashes of Angostura bitters and a sugar cube, topped with Champagne.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It might be what's inside the bottle that really counts but SUSY ATKINS thinks eye-catching labels are very important too. One modern example that takes her fancy is the scribbly pencil drawing of the spiny rodent' on 2005 Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa (5.99 to 6.49;
Oddbins, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, selected independents).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

A bloke in a smart suite irritates TIM ATKIN MW at the autumn Marks & Spencer tasting. He vaguely recognises him, and when he asks our Tim what he'd recommend, Atkin grudgingly sends him off to quaff the Marks & Sparks Ribera del Duero. Then the pound coin drops and our man at The Obs realises that the bloke is none other than M&S saviour, ber retailer Stuart Rose. He buys a case of Tim's recommendation - not bad from a man who is known for keeping a serious cellar. Atkin notes that M&S wines used to be known for two things: hefty mark-ups and a safety-first policy. The few highlights were: Champagne, Chablis and Sherry. But then things changed and at least a dozen wines wouldn't look out of place on a fine wine merchant's list', although he still regards Marks as weak on Australian and Chilean reds. His top six are: 2005 Darling Estate Drkheimer Michelsberg Riesling (6.99); 2004 Saint Aubin Premier Cru, Domaine du Pimont Les Charmois (14.99); 1996 Cuve Orpale Champagne Brut (29.99); 2005 Domaine de la Meynarde, Plan de Dieu, Ctes du Rhne Villages (5.49); 2004 Nero d'Avola, Sicilia Corte Ibla (9.99); and 2004 Nos Riqueza, Ribera del Duero (9.99). Atkin concludes by saying that he'll probably join Rose in buying a case of the latter.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

PETER MAYLE's feature starts off with a headline: Why I hate wine snobs'. The Provenal author discusses his introduction to winespeak, which sounds suspiciously like it came courtesy of Berry Bros & Rudd or maybe Justerini & Brooks. Does anyone own up to being Michael'? He goes on to discuss the dizzying range of verbal acrobatics: often imaginative, sometimes ludicrous, occasionally elegant ("a wine that should be drunk kneeling, in the position of prayer" - was one of my favourites)'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

A judge of the Spanish New Wave Awards, ANTHONY ROSE says they failed to get it down to a neat 100 and had to make do with 103. He is gratified by the quality and diversity of Spanish whites particularly from wet, Atlantic-cooled, Galicia. Among his recommended wines are: 2005 Pazo San Mauro, Rias Baixas (9.99; Handford); 2004 Mas d'en Compte, Celler Joan Sangenis, Priorat (18; Weavers); 2005 Antano Via Mocen Sauvignon Blanc (5.99; Inspired Wines, Halifax Wine Company); 2005 Vias del Vero Coleccin Gewrztraminer (7.60-7.95; SH Jones, Tanners); 2004 Chivite Coleccin 125 Blanco, Navarra - best white of the entire show' (20; Waitrose); 2002 Taste the Difference Elegia Rioja Reserva (8.99; Sainsbury's); 2005 Dominio De Nogara, Bodegas Valtravieso (8; Playford Ros); and Camilo Castilla's Capricho de Goya (9.49 per half bottle; Moreno; Food & Fine Wine, Sheffield).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW gives a moment to Muscadet and comments: I drank little else in France this summer, apart from the odd glass of ros.' One of the important things to remember with this oft-derided grape is the difference between straight Muscadet and the generally superior Muscadet Sur Lie, he continues. Of the supermarket own-labels, the only one to receive the Atkin approval is 2005 Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Muscadet de Svre et Maine Sur Lie (4.99), which he describes as crisp and refreshing with notes of apple and pear and a classic sur lie prickle of carbon dioxide'. Among his other recommendations are 2004 Le Clos des Alles, Vieilles Vignes, Muscadet de Svre et Maine Sur Lie (6.90; Les Caves de Pyrene).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pink wine is now in demand throughout the year, says SUSY ATKINS. She says the most impressive of the big, full ross usually come from new wave wineries in Australia, New Zealand and California, but she has spotted a few from Spain and Portugal too'. Her Try These' are: 2005 Tagus Creek Shiraz Touriga Nacional, Portugal (4.99; Booths); 2005 Fetzer Valley Oaks Syrah Ros, California (5.99; widely available); and 2006 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Ros, Marlborough, New Zealand (6.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW gives a list of 50 great-value reds' to FT readers, taken from literally thousands tasted in the last few months'. She says the best value today is in the 8 to 15 range and notes that the big easy-to-find retailers' are not always cheaper than Britain's many excellent independent merchants'.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON also provides her pick of the wines for the festive season. She suggests not leaving it to the last minute, otherwise readers will end up with boring brands and tired old names'. She commends Thresher's three-for-two deal and Majestic's reduction on two bottles. Simon touches on alcohol levels, saying that in allowing a half to three-quarters of a bottle per person, a host should bear in mind that the average alcohol level in a bottle of wine is 13% and that wines from hot climates, such as most New World countries and the Mediterranean are generally more alcoholic. She recommends: 2005 Ayler Kupp Kabinett Margarethenhof (8.5%, 5.99; Majestic); 2005 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett (9%, 9.99; Marks & Spencer); and 2004 Finest Denman Vineyard Semillon (11%; 7.99 Tesco)

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES also warns Mail readers not to leave wine purchases too late. His WoW' is the 2005 Pillar Box, Padthaway, South Australia (8.99 or 5.99 when you buy three; Thresher).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sweet sensations to suit puds, is JAMIE GOODE's brief. His recommended wines include: 2005 Ernst Loosen Erdener Treppchen Vineyard Riesling Mosel Saar Ruwer (9.99; Marks & Spencer); Harveys Orange Aperitif (7.19; Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Tesco); Cockburns Fine Tawny Port (8.49; Morrisons); 2005 Brown Bros Orange Muscat and Flora (5.43 per for 37.5cl; Asda); and 2003 Chteau Bergeron Sauternes, Bordeaux (9.60; Asda).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Supermarket fine wine ranges are not all they are cracked up to be,' says JANE MacQUITTY. Tesco doesn't flag up its Finest' selection enough and its Premium Range is a disgrace, full of subsitutes and gaps'. Somerfield is cramped and confused', while Asda's Extra Special' bottles fail to live up to the name'. Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range is given the thumbs up, but its wine aisles are muddled and poorly stocked'. The only one to receive a proper slap on the back is Waitrose, thanks to its superior supermarket wine run-around, with helpful staff familiar with the Inner Cellar racked-up range'.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

English wine is coming on a treat, says JOHN DOWNES. He concedes that Bordeaux and Burgundy probably don't need to lose any sleep, but Champagne may be a different story. He comments: The chalk soils so important to Champagne's unique style also line the Sussex coast. Add Blighty's marginal climate, the same grape blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier together with "methode champenoise" production, and the recipe for a world-class sparkler becomes a reality.' His recommendations include 2003 RidgeView Bloomsbury (15.95).
SUSY ATKINS makes a few suggestions for party season wines and urges her readers to trade up to at least a fiver. According to Atkins, the best red wines for about 5 come from reliably warm spots like Languedoc or Sicily', and the top whites for the same price come from the Loire. One of her particular suggestions is 2006 Co-op Argentine Pinot Grigio, Famatina Valley (4.99).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Now that liquid is forbidden in airline hand luggage, the wine choices on board have assumed considerably more importance, says TIM ATKIN MW. The business class wine list is definitely an improvement on economy, but a recent tasting proved that the overall level of quality is still disappointing'. Fruity examples came out a lot better than tannic wines, due to the dulling of the senses at altitude, and Atkin says: Apart from a good glass of Champagne, the wines that taste good are softer reds and richer whites.' One such example he gives is 2004 Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir, Martinborough (11.99, each if you buy two; Majestic).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE is the first to admit that, as a wine writer, she is sent heaps of samples'. However, this is not necessarily something to be jealous of, she explains: Most of the bottles I'm sent are not fine clarets and Burgundies, but the wine equivalent of airport paperbacks.' As an experiment, she spends two weeks choosing wines to buy with her own money and her highlights include 2005 Saint Mont, Ctes de Saint-Mont (5.79; Marks & Spencer).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's time to get stuck into autumn says SUSY ATKINS and crack open some vanilla-scented whites' and spicy, earthy reds'. For the ultimate indulgence, try a very sweet, almost syrupy pudding wine with home-made blackberry crumble and a dollop of thick cream'. She recommends 2002 Tesco Finest Botrytis Semillon, Australia (5.49 for 37.5cl).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE was reminded of French wine's capacity for excellence' at the recent Absolutely Cracking Wines from France tasting and observes: One of the surprises was the resurgence of Muscadet.' Of those at the tasting, he recommends the characterful' Bruno Cormerans Muscadet de Svre et Maine (5.75; Stone, Vine & Sun).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON thinks Thresher and Wine Rack could have been a touch more adventurous with the new Gordon Ramsay slogan, Wines you can swear by': It would have been more in character - surely? - to have had Ramsay saying, "You'd have to be effing mad to buy a bottle of wine at Thresher".' She quickly points out here that there should be a necessary emphasis on a bottle of wine' in this sentence, making reference to the considerable difference in the price to quality ratio when customers take advantage of the ongoing three for two offer..

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

PETER GROGAN advises on buying wine at auction and reports on the pitfalls. It's vital to read the small print. Wine that sells for 200 "on the hammer" can end up costing very close to 300 if it is offered "in bond",' he comments. His pointers include: Buy wines from great producers in less-than-great vintages.'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

There is nothing more comforting than hearty, no-frills cooking,' confesses MATTHEW JUKES. His wines to match include the classy, wintry' 2004 Harrowgate Shiraz, Goulburn Valley, Central Victoria, Australia (7.99; Marks & Spencer). This week's WoW is 2005 Sandpiper Reserve Merlot, Vin de Pays d'Oc (7.99, down to 3.99 from 13 November to 7 January; Morrisons).

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